Rena Behrman takes a plane to Israel for the party of her century

By Candice Krieger, July 2, 2009

Mazel tov to Rena Behrman. The north Londoner celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

She marked the occasion with a trip to Israel for a party with her family, notably her 98-year-old sister and 105-year-old cousin. And how about the telegram from the Queen? Mrs Behrman tells People: “It was interesting to chat to the young lady who was sent by the authorities to check my date of birth in my passport.”

Born in Riga, she moved to England in 1927. Highlights in her life include visiting Palestine in 1930 and, in 1948, going to Tel Aviv to celebrate Israel’s independence. “It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life, driving through Tel Aviv for the first time with the Israeli flag flying on the front of the car.”

How has she managed to remain so full of life? “It’s all down to nature,” she says.

Ms Behrman, who lives independently in St John’s Wood, is fluent in German, Russian and Hebrew.

She says: “It is strange to realise that we are celebrating 100 years of Tel Aviv the same year that I am celebrating my 100th birthday.”

Last updated: 11:31am, July 2 2009